24-Hour Emergency Burn Treatment in Harris County, TX
 

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BURNS | SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, AND EMERGENCY TREATMENT

Burns are a very common injury that can range from very minor to life threatening and medical emergencies. A burn is a result from tissue damage that can occur from heat, overexposure, to the sun or other forms of radiation, electrical contact, or from chemicals.

Treatment of a burn depends on some factors, major ones include location and severity of the damage. Minor burns such as sunburns and small scalds can usually be treated at home. Major burns that are deep and widespread require immediate medical attention. 

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There are 3 categories of burns

 

  1. First degree burn: the damage is minor and only the outer layer of skin is damaged. First degree burns may cause pain and redness to the area affected.

  2. Second degree burn: the outer skin layer and the layer underneath or both damaged. Second degree burns can cause swelling, red and white spotted skin. Pain can occur and blisters can develop, if damage is deep enough, scarring can occur. 

  3. Third degree burn: the entire layer of skin and tissue may be damaged or destroyed. Third degree burns reach to layer of fat beneath the skin, affected areas can appear black, brown, or white, numbness at affected area can occur due to the nerves being destroyed. 

 —There are multiple causes for burns, some of the most common ones are—

  • Fire — Burns caused by fires is a very common cause, they can be caused by either direct or indirect to open flames. Any exposure whether it be from an appliance, or even outdoor campfire, can cause severe injury.

  • Hot liquid or steam — Contact with any hot liquid or steam can cause scalding injuries, which is a leading cause of burns with small children. Boiling water can be spilled, that can cause severe injury requiring emergency treatment or an emergency room visit.

  • Sunlight — Sunburns are the most common type of burn, when exposure to direct sunlight for periods of time occur, light-colored skin can be affected very quickly. Although sunburns are very minor, there are certain conditions and medications that can make it a severe injury.

  • Contact with hot objects — A thermal burn is when skin makes direct contact with a hot object, also considered a scald.

  • Electrical currents — An electrical burn can occur when electricity makes direct contact with your skin. When electricity comes in contact with your body, it not only stays on the surface, it travels throughout your body, with the potential to damage organs and tissue. The damage from electrical burns can be mild to severe, and can even result in death.

  • Radiation — Radiation burns are always severe and require immediate medical attention, radiation burns can occur when safety practices are neglected while working with certain pieces of equipment.

  • Chemicals — Exposure or direct contact with hazardous chemicals can lead to the most severe types of burns. Although chemical burns mostly occur in specialized professions, some household products can contain materials that can cause them also.

—Symptoms of Burns—

Symptoms of a burn will depend on the type and cause of the burn, they all have common signs which include:

 

  • Blisters

  • Pain (Do not relate degree of pain to severity of the burn, some burns can be fatal and painless)

  • Red skin at affected area

  • Peeling skin of affected area

  • Shock (Some symptoms of shock include: pale and clammy skin, weakness, bluish fingernails and lips, and momentary drops in alertness)

  • Swelling in affected area

  • Charred or white skin

When to seek Emergency Treatment

Seek medical emergency treatment  if:

  • Blistering and pain is only felt with pressure, this may indicate the burn is deep within the skin and could be a third degree burn.

  • The affected burn area is around sensitive areas such as face, hands, feet, or genitalia area, while healing, scar tissue can develop and hamper everyday function of these areas. 

  • The area is painful with blisters, if these signs show, it is possible it may be a second degree burn and will need a doctor’s evaluation for treatment.